The Kerlingar Valley is situated about 5 kilometres to the east of the hamlet Vik on the south coast. In the past, before the outwash plain was created by constant glacier bursts, a cove existed, where the valley is now.
In the saga period, the so-called Magic-Hedinn lived at the farm Kerlingardalur. At that time, one of the first missionaries, Thangbrandur, was trying to Christianize the Icelanders on behalf of King Olaf the holy of Norway.
The pagans asked Magic-Hedinn to help them getting rid of this maniac, who travelled all over the country with the crucifix in one hand and the sword in the other. With sorcery Hedinn steered the missionary and his followers into a bog on the outwash plain Myrdalssandur. Thangbrandur’s horse took him into this bottomless bog and disappeared. Thangbrandur barely escaped by jumping from its back to dry land.
This valley is also mentioned in one of the most popular Sagas of the country, The Njalssaga, when a battle took place on the banks of the river running through the valley. The old main road lay through the valley and over the mountains to the east, down to the outwash plain Myrdalssandur. A part of this road is still passable and takes you through very lovely landscapes with unforgettable views on a fine day.
Kerlingardalur is on the Saga trail for South Iceland.
Photo Credit: TommyBee